The Think System



“If I told you I was a happily married woman, would you believe me?” I watched Bernard’s face as the light from the motel sign flickered through a crack in the curtain. Flashes of pink neon danced across paisley wallpaper.

He betrayed no emotion. “No. I don’t believe I would.”


“Isn’t it obvious, my dear?”

If he knew me, he would know how much I dislike being called “dear.”

“So you don’t think I love my husband?”

“You may love him, but in a family sort of way–like the way one loves a favored pet.”

“You barely know me. How can you be sure?”

“I’m fucking you. It’s a pretty substantial clue.” His thrust added an exclamation point that the timbre of his voice lacked. I let out a small gasp, surprised by his sudden burst of enthusiasm. It coincided with a spark of neon and the creak of an overused mattress.

Not exactly the lyrical sounds of passionate love. But it’s what I wanted. Or so I had thought an hour ago when I’d agreed to follow him here. It just wasn’t turning out to be the romantic tryst I’d imagined.

* * * *

We met at the half-price bookstore. I was perusing the romance novels, reading the back covers and trying to decide what historical era I would like to escape to. Ethan and I had argued. Again. We argued constantly about finances. Lately it seemed to be the only conversation we ever had. Our sex life had completely fizzled. I tried everything I could think of to get Ethan to look at me again with lustful eyes. When I’d found a set of satin sheets at a modest price, I’d bought them, thinking that red satin might spice things up.

I spent the entire morning preparing. I dug out the shimmery negligee that I’d worn on our wedding night. I turned on light jazz, spritzed the room with Ethan’s favorite perfume, and anxiously positioned myself in the middle of the red satin sheets.

Ethan came home, ignored my negligee, took one look at the new sheets, and flipped.

“What the hell is this about, Lori?”

“I was hoping you’d find it exciting.”

“I told you we can’t afford extras this month.” His face reddened, and the vein in his forehead bulged. “Damn it, Lori! I wish you would *think*.”

I ripped off the negligee, shivering in the coolness of the room, and stood nude, totally exposed, waiting and hoping he’d see past the sales slip to the possibility of romance. Instead he called me irresponsible and stormed from the bedroom. “And sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of your face!” I whispered in the empty room.

I left the house in a huff, set on making Ethan regret being so callous. The bookstore was one of my favorite places to go and get lost for a while. I could pick out a book, sit in the outside café, sip on a strawberry lemonade, and lose myself in romance. My intent was to stay away for a time. Let Ethan stew. Recover from my hurt. I didn’t intend on something as drastic as adultery.

Bernard bumped me on his way to the philosophy section. Just the idea of the philosophy section gave him the aura of a professor, or maybe it was his neatly trimmed goatee. He smelled faintly of cigar smoke and Old Spice. I idealized him immediately. He was the dreamy hero in one of my romance novels: a duke with a passion for reading, or a scholar with hidden machismo.

In our mutual attempt to retrieve my dropped book, our heads collided. He offered to buy me a cup of coffee as way of Bostancı Escort apology. I accepted.

We sat at one of the small tables outside the bookstore. Bernard ordered an espresso. I settled on something topped in whipped cream.

“I don’t usually drink coffee.” I spoke hesitantly, as if my words held the weight of a courtroom confession.

He leered at me over his cup with chocolate brown eyes, the same color as his coffee. His short, dark hair with touches of gray around his ears added to his professor mystique.

“What do you do for fun, my dear?” He ran his finger along my bottom lip, catching some whipped cream I had missed.

Excitement wriggled in my stomach. I tried to think of some deep secret I could share with him that would make me appear provocative. Unfortunately, I led a disgustingly tame life. “I’m afraid I don’t smoke, rarely drink, and only say, ‘fuck’ when I’m actually doing it.”

He raised his eyebrows appreciatively when I said the word, ‘fuck,’ and then he grinned. I felt a tiny bit exotic.

We sat in silence, drinking our coffee. Bernard stared unblinkingly at me while anticipation dipped its toe in my belly like a child testing the temperature of pool water–wanting to dive in, but still a little fearful. I would like to be able to say he hypnotized me in those quiet moments–that his rich, dark eyes reached into my soul and tugged. Then I could be free from guilt. But I wasn’t hypnotized, and his eyes were beginning to look ordinary.

“How would you like to explore your verbal usage of the word ‘fuck’?” He asked it casually, as if asking for directions.

I teetered at the edge of refusing. After all, he hadn’t dazzled me with witty repartee or schmoozed me with florid compliments. But he had shown an interest in me. A physical interest.

I succumbed to the allure of doing something totally out of character. My face flushed when I answered, “I think I’d like that.”

He took my hand, like a familiar lover and pulled me from my chair. Dry heat from holding a hot coffee mug seeped into my fingers like a caffeine aphrodisiac. I found it easy to follow him.

“I’ve never done this sort of thing before,” I whispered.

“You can still say no.” He squeezed my hand for reassurance. My wedding band pinched my finger and I wished I’d taken it off. I glanced at my ring, but continued to glide along beside him. Maybe I was a little hypnotized– not by him, but by the thrill of being found attractive by someone.

He led me across the street, past a blinking “Vacancy” sign. When he asked me to wait outside, I considered it gallant.

“No reason for you to suffer embarrassment at the signing in.”

I nodded.

I considered the possibility that someone might see me but chose to deal with it like a three-year-old child–if I didn’t see them, they couldn’t see me. So I kept my eyes locked on the door of the motel.

When Bernard emerged from the tiny office, jangling a room key, lyrics from “The Music Man” popped into my head. (There were bells all around, but I couldn’t hear them ringing.) I imagined him signing the book “Professor Hill” and calling me Madam Librarian. It made me smile.

The room was dank, poorly lighted, and generic: a queen-sized bed, a TV, a desk with a phone, and a bedside table with a lamp. In another place, another time, with my familiar man, I might have slung open the curtains Ümraniye Escort to allow the waning sun to add a little light to the built up gloom. But the ambiance seemed fitting. I was, after all, committing adultery. What did I expect, the Ritz Carlton? So I stood, waiting to close the door, as Bernard fumbled with the lamp.

* * * *

And now I was squashed under his soft, pudgy body that his clothes had worked wonders to hide. The preliminaries had been little more than “you take your clothes off, I’ll take my clothes off, and we’ll meet on the bed.”

Bernard’s diligence toward fucking could be compared to a housewife reading the Wall Street Journal. He barely broke a sweat, and his shoes and socks were still on. It wasn’t entirely his fault. I had serious misgivings right after I’d closed the door, but some bizarre adherence to high school decorum told me I couldn’t back out now–I’d be considered a tease.

I tried to muster some passion, but thanks to a strategically placed ceiling mirror, I had a view of Bernard’s clenching, naked ass and spindly legs. Instead of being arousing, it struck me funny. Apparently, I’d found the one man left in the world under the age of sixty who still wore gartered socks. I giggled.

“You s-sound am-mused, m-my dear.” Bernard’s stuttering was rewarding. It showed a small crack in the veneer of passivity he was trying to pass off as wild abandon.

“Did you know there’s a mirror on the ceiling above the bed?” I asked.

“I hadn’t noticed.” He cocked his head back to look up. “Kind of kinky, isn’t it?”

It was all Bernard’s lounging libido needed. His hips began to jackhammer–rapid, short jabs, causing coffee to slosh around in my stomach, looking for a way out. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. I tried to remember what I’d found alluring about him. The cigar smell suddenly seemed bitter instead of enticing. His brown eyes were more like muddy water than rich, deep coffee, and his goatee poked at my neck like a mason chipping away at mortar. All the dukes in my historical romances were smooth, robust lovers, and the scholars were tender and attentive. Bernard had the sexual expertise of a seventeen-year-old virgin. So much for high school decorum.

He continued to piston on top of me, our skin slapping together like the clang of cymbals, only off tempo. I opened my eyes again and watched the scene in the mirror. Was that really me? It was my body, no question. I could see the three freckles on my right shin. And the smallish hands, professionally manicured, also mine, bumping along Bernard’s back.

“I’m going to come, dear.” His voice was back to that of a professor teaching his Philosophy 101 students. If I was waiting for seventy-six trombones to lead the big parade, I was out of luck. He could have just as easily been lecturing me on formal logic. His body tensed and I felt three quick spasms from within his condom-clad penis. He rolled over onto the bed, sprawled face-up. I caught his eye in the mirror above and he winked.

“That was lovely, my dear. Thank you.”

I suppose if I compared it to being stuck inside a washing machine on heavy cycle, then it was indeed lovely.

In what seemed like milliseconds, Bernard was snoring. His mouth was slack and his paunchy belly fluttered with each exhalation. The condom crinkled like an accordion as his penis shriveled inside it.

I lay motionless, Anadolu Yakası Escort staring at myself in the mirror. Oh yes, it was me. My hair was mussed, but it was still the same mousy blond. My left breast bulged above the black lace of my bra where it had jostled out of position. My thighs were covered in red blotches from the jackhammering and remained slightly apart.

I reached to cover my exposed pubis and felt the cool gel of lubricant from Bernard’s condom. It was such a contrast with the warm stickiness I was used to when I had sex with Ethan. The thought of Ethan stabbed at my gut, and my eyes blurred. I blinked a couple of times and managed to focus on the reflection in the mirror. Bernard continued to snore in recuperative sleep. There had been very little to stir me in the hurried coupling, but as I looked, I found something increasingly erotic about the half-naked woman staring back at me.

I watched her legs open further and saw glimpses of shiny, pink flesh surrounded by light, curly, pubic hair. I watched as mauve-tipped fingers dug between puffy labia and separated the lips to expose an engorged bud. I saw her hips rotate and rise slightly from the bed as her fingers brushed over the clitoris and disappeared deep within.

I shifted my eyes to see her other hand yank at her bra and let her tit pop completely free from the black lace. I willed her fingers to pinch the hardening nipple, and I watched as they complied. My heart raced when they mauled the entire breast, and I thrilled at the sight of welted marks rising on flawless skin

I glanced again at the hand making slow revolutions over her widespread pussy. My eyes batted shut, and I was lost in the feelings that watching her evoked. She was provocative. She was seductive. And she was me!

The cool lubricant pooled with my own oil as my fingers trailed the path between clitoris and cunt. I sucked in air, gasping and climbing toward the peak. I forced my eyes open again to watch. Bernard was awake and was staring at me. I didn’t care. I slid my hand from my breast down over my belly and held it above my womb. It became a puissant magnet, pulling the orgasm out of me. I saw my mouth form the word as I felt the eruption shatter through me.


My legs slammed shut and I held my fingers in place, clenched between the folds, absorbing the aftershocks. I thought I might hyperventilate in the quiet until Bernard broke it.

“Wow! That was amazing.” He sounded incredulous.

I tried to ignore him.

“I’ve never seen a woman masturbate before.”

I wasn’t surprised. I looked at Bernard once again in the mirror. His cock had extended again but the condom had slipped off. It pouched on his groin like a boil. And I had the sudden urge to get out of there. I jumped up from the bed and gathered my clothes.

“You’re not leaving, my dear?” He whined.

I nodded.

“But after that little show I need more.” Bernard’s penis bobbed in agreement.

I stood still as realization blossomed in my brain. I hadn’t lost my sensuality. I was still the same woman I had always been. And I was sexy!

“That’s funny,” I said with a smile, “I suddenly feel like I don’t *need* anything else.”

I adjusted my bra, slipped on my jeans, and pulled my shirt over my head. As I turned to leave, Bernard sat up on the edge of the bed. The used condom fell to the floor lost, like an earthworm after a rain.

“B-But I don’t even know your name.” As he hesitated, I could see his mind scrambling, trying to remember if that were true. I’d told him my name was Lori, back at the bookstore.

“My name? My name is… Marian.” And with that I walked out the door.

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